Putin is ‘entirely too healthy,’ the C.I.A. Director Says

After the Kremlin denied rumors about the Russian president’s health, western intelligence officials said there is no evidence that he is ill.

Earlier this week, Western intelligence officials and the Kremlin dismissed reports that Vladimir V. Putin, the 69-year-old Russian president, is ill.

On Wednesday, Mr. Putin coughed during a speech in Moscow, raising concerns about his health. South Ossetia officials canceled their meeting with him that day, sparking speculation that he was sick. On social media, many were convinced that his health was deteriorating after a video released by state media showed him grasping a table tightly for a moment too long.

“There are lots of rumors about President Putin’s health, and as far as we can tell, he’s entirely healthy,” William J. Burns, director of the C.I.A., said at the Aspen Security Forum.

The head of MI6, the British foreign intelligence service, agreed with the C.I.A. director’s assessment: ” Putin does not appear to be suffering from any serious illness. ”

On Wednesday, the Kremlin denounced the rumors as “nothing but fakes.”

Peskov, the Kremlin spokesman, said Mr. Putin was in good health and blamed “information specialists” from Ukraine, the United States, and Britain for spreading false rumors.

Even before Russia invaded Ukraine in February, conjectures swirled about Mr. Putin’s health. Rumors have circulated over the years that the president suffers from cancer, Parkinson’s disease, dementia, and paranoia.

Rumors have also circulated about the health of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Ruslan Stefanchuk, the speaker of the Ukrainian parliament, assumed the presidency on Thursday, according to a Ukrainian radio station.

Later, the radio station’s owners announced that the station had been hacked.

Zelensky addressed the rumor in a video speech, calling it fake news spread by the Russian government. Speaking from his office, he said he had never felt stronger.

Despite the fact that 44 is not 70, Mr. Zelensky said with all due respect. It will be Mr. Putin’s 70th birthday in October.

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